Praekelt Foundation, which builds open source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions, and info4africa today announced the integration of the info4africa HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) database into the YoungAfricaLive (YAL) youth focused mobile social network.
The new feature, which will provide YoungAfricaLive, a free mobile social network available to Vodacom customers, with comprehensive information on HIV testing sites across South Africa, will go live on World Aids Day, Saturday 1 December 2012.
Praekelt Foundation launched YAL (YoungAfricaLive) in South Africa on 1 December 2009 to create an entertainment orientated, fun and interactive space where young South Africans can talk about hot topics that affect their daily lives including love, sex, relationships, gender and cultural issues, as well as HIV/AIDS. Since then the YAL mobile social network has grown to almost 1.3 million users making it SA’s largest mobile social network around sexual and reproductive health. The info4africa database (formerly HIVAN/HIV-911) which has now been integrated into YAL is the most complete database of HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) sites in South Africa, making YAL users able to search for, and find their nearest HIV Counselling and Testing site anywhere in South Africa. Regular HIV testing is recognised globally as a key HIV prevention mechanism and promoting regular testing is a key objective of YoungAfricaLive and the Vodacom Mobile Health Project (which funds YoungAfricaLive SA with the Praekelt Foundation). The integration of the info4africa information will include HIV Clinic Location & Contacts when the new feature goes live on Saturday. YoungAfricaLive users will find a link to the new feature on the homepage of YAL SA on Vodafone Live! Users will then be able to query the info4africa HIV data via a series of drop down menus to find a clinic in a certain province, city or suburb within South Africa. Once the clinic has been chosen, information provided includes the name of the clinic, a click-to-call phone number, address and the type of service available. Gustav Praekelt, Praekelt Foundation Founder commented, ‚”People often prefer to visit a clinic for testing and treatment in a different area to where they live to ensure anonymity because of stigma and discrimination. The data and functionality we’ve made available together with info4africa will provide many more people with access to the most comprehensive information and the freedom of choice at the same time. It’s another way in which the use of mobile technology for the most basic handset can help to change people’s lives‚”. Debbie Heustice, Director of info4africa said ‚”we are really excited about the partnership with YAL to bring the users of YAL more comprehensive information on HIV testing sites across South Africa. info4africa (formerly HIVAN/HIV-911) specialises in data collection and referrals to over 12 000 health, wellbeing and development support services across South Africa. We have a long history of working in the fields of health, wellbeing and development and believe that this partnership will further increase use of the referral network‚”